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BY AVERY G. WILKS
Virginia-based Dominion Energy is buying SCANA Corp. in a $14.6 billion deal that offers $1.3 billion in refunds to SCE&G power customers who unwittingly helped bankroll SCANA’s failed nuclear expansion project.
In a news release announcing the deal, contingent on a myriad of regulatory and shareholder approvals, Dominion pledged cash refunds of about $1,000 per household to customers of SCE&G, SCANA’s Cayce-based electric utility.
The Richmond-headquartered utility also promised to cut SCE&G’s electric rates by $7 a month, on average, and to put a halt sooner to customers’ ongoing charges for the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear project.
But the proposal has a major weakness in the eyes of S.C. lawmakers: Those customers still would be charged higher electricity bills to pay off debt for two abandoned, unfinished nuclear reactors over the next two decades. SCANA had said it would pay off that debt over the next 60 years.
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